Acupuncture For Stress
Stress is a normal part of life...
Our bodies are designed to cope with the ups and downs in life that can create a stress response in our body, however they are not meant to stay in this state long term.
As humans we have always been programmed to be able to quickly respond to any real or perceived threats.
This response is known as the “flight or fight”response. It enables us to be ready to fight the oncoming attacker or run from a fast approaching car.
This response is a physiological reaction our body has and we can't control it. Our breathing becomes faster in order to pump more blood around our bodies in preparation for action.Our heart rate increases as can our blood pressure and we can become sweaty. This reaction is designed to protect our body in an emergency situation but when this happens day after day our health can be at risk.
Unfortunately our bodies can mistakenly perceive an event such as a work deadline, an argument with a loved one, family pressures or an exam with a life threatening threat and this response is triggered.
The Hypothalamus in the brain is triggered by both real and perceived threats and it then signals to the adrenal glands which in response release adrenaline and cortisol.
These stress hormones activate more blood flow through the blood vessels, increase the heart rate and breathing and release glucose stores so there is fuel for the body to use.
When the threat has passed our stress hormone levels should drop and our parasympathetic nervous system should signal all the systems to return to normal, however all too often our bodies don't get this reprieve and our health can be at risk.
Constant adrenaline surges can damage blood vessel walls leading to high blood pressure and increased risks of stroke and heart attacks. Continued high levels of cortisol in the blood have been associated with blood glucose imbalances, impaired cognitive function and thyroid issues.
Ongoing stress can effect many functions in our body and leave people with complaints such as insomnia, digestive or bowel issues, weight gain, headaches and migraines, tight sore muscles, mood changes or feelings of anxiety and depression.
So chronic stress is a real issue for our health and well being but what can we do about it???
We can aid our body to induce the relaxation response by doing things such as exercise, TaiChi/or yoga, meditation and deep abdominal breathing.
There is also quite a lot of research to support the use of acupuncture to help our body cope with the symptoms of chronic stress.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy that has been in continual use for over 2000 years. It involves the placement of very thin, one use only, sterile, stainless steel needles into specific points on the body known as acupuncture points.
These points are located on one of the 14 meridians that traverse the body from head to toe.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the insertion of the needles at the chosen points activates our bodies natural energy force “Qi”' (pronounced “'chee”').
Modern technology such as MRI brain imaging has clearly shown how acupuncture can effect different parts of the brain, helping to release natural feel good chemicals that help reduce inflammation and improve well being.
One of the most common acupuncture points used to help treat the symptoms of stress is called Yintang.
It is located at the midpoint between the eyebrows. It is used to help calm a persons spirit. To help reduce agitation, restlessness and irritability.
A common symptom of stress is headaches. Many people suffer headaches because the muscles in their shoulders, upper back and neck are tight.
Acupuncture is a very effective treatment for relaxing muscles all over the body and helping restore them to a more supple and flexible state thereby relieving the headaches.
There are other causes for headaches and there is there is strong evidence to support the use of acupuncture as an effective treatment for chronic and tension type headaches.
Acupuncture helps stimulate our bodies natural ability to return to balance. It treats the whole body. It can help trigger a relaxation response, which in turn helps people sleep better and feel calmer.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact our reception to book an initial consultation with our Registered Acupuncturist Geraldine Robinson at (03) 6122 0155 or